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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Homemade French Bread...


I LOVE LOVE LOVE bread!!! Other than bacon frying, fresh bread baking in the oven is the most mouth-watering smell. YUMMMMM...

Years ago, I came across the best recipe for French bread. Not only do I use it for French bread loaves, but I also use it for my pizza dough!! It does great double duty work for our family!!

French Bread
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. yeast

I place everything in my bread maker, set it on "dough" cycle and let it go. After the "dough" cycle is done, I take the dough out, divide it into two even sections and shape them into French bread loaves and place on my bread pan. I use my sharpest kitchen knife and make little "slashes" across the top to allow the bread to rise even more. Then I set it in the oven to rise for 1 hour (I let it rise in the oven because it is a draft free place). When the hour is up, I bake the bread in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now... if you do not have a bread maker, you can easily mix the ingredients by hand and then knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Let it rise for 30 minutes in a greased bowl, punch it down, knead it again for about 5 more minutes and let it rise again until double in size. Then divide the dough into two even sections... and go from there in my original directions.

You can also lightly brush a beaten egg across the top of the loaves just before you bake them and they will have a beautiful golden shine to them. I often will do this when I make bread to take somewhere.

For pizza: Make the dough according to directions. You can either divide the dough into two even sections and shape into two "thin crust" pizzas OR you can use the entire amount of dough for a "deep dish" style pizza.

9 comments:

Susan P. said...

Oh my word, I think I can smell it baking right now! A nice hot slice hot out of the oven with butter slathered all over. Okay, I have GOT to stop because I can't stand it! LOL

Charree said...

Hi Mrs. U! Thanks for stoppping by my blog and saying hi. Your French Bread recipe looks delicious. I will have to try it soon. Your little girl is looks precious!

Candy said...

HI there :)
Thanks for coming over to my blog and for the super kind comment :)
I love home made bread and nothing smells up the house better!

Eagles Wings said...

oh my goodness! it's going on the list to try...I absolutely love it...and doubling for pizza crust definitely a try! Thank you!

Tammy said...

Mmm...that looks so good! I will have to give this a try sometime!

Betty said...

I know we cannot live by bread alone but it certainly is one of my favorite foods......

The house smells so 'at peace' when bread is baking...

Jodi said...

Yummy! :o)

Rona's Home Page said...

Another bread fan? Alright!

Lisa writes... said...

Hi Mrs. U! Just returning your visit...and I have to say your bread is gorgeous! Count me in for a slice of warm bread with butter (the real deal, now) slathered on top!

Speaking of gorgeous, Elizabeth is absolutely beautiful!

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